I f beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then so too is perception. The way one person feels when they view a piece of art will probably be different from the next person, but the fact that the piece of art exists to be interpreted at all is because an artist chose to create it.
Steve Grimes, based in Westerville, Ohio, is a 72-year-old artist who doesn’t work in oils or acrylics—his medium is rolling art sculpture. Style, shape, and symmetry are all facets of design Steve takes into consideration when working on a project, which more often than not starts with what is the linchpin of each car: a cowl. From there he makes cardboard mock-ups of the shapes he dreams up and, with help from a long list of friends, goes about making the parts and building the cars.
The six cars he’s built over the last 16 years have moved from the look of a traditional dry lakes modified to more of a whimsical (or some might say extreme) appearance. He’s given and applied a name to each car (making it look like a low-buck sponsorship from the local roadhouse) and the choice of drivetrain and its location is usually a departure from the norm as well. They run the gamut from a four-banger Crosley to a Chrysler Hemi, with two of them having the engines mounted behind the centerline of the rear wheels.
Steve says he has 10 more cars in his head to build, but he thinks his “roadster phase” is now over and the next one will be a center-door T. Steve knows the cars he builds aren’t for everyone, but good art usually isn’t. It takes the removal of pre-conceived ideas of what something should be plus an appreciation of what the inspiration was to create it. Art is usually created to move you or to make you think, and we believe you can do both quite easily after seeing one of Steve Grimes’ rolling art pieces.